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Police suspect Odessa blast may be work of terrorists

March 05, 2015, 12:51 UTC+3 ODESSA
The bomb disposal experts have confirmed that a self-made explosive device went off housing the office of the Right Sector group, which is banned as an extremist organization in Russia
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© Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS

ODESSA, March 5. /TASS/. Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies suspect that terrorists are behind the overnight explosion in the southern port city Odessa, the country’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

"The investigators have preliminarily qualified the accident as a terrorist attack," the ministry said in a statement.

Police said the explosion caused no casualties.

The Odessa region’s chief of public relations, Volodymyr Shabliyenko, said the blast power was equivalent to 1 kilogram of TNT. "The bomb disposal experts have confirmed that a self-made explosive device went off," he said.

The incident occurred at about 00:30 local time on Thursday (22:30 GMT) on the ground floor, housing the office of the Right Sector group, which is banned as an extremist organization in Russia. The blast ripped through a next-door room.

The blast wave damaged the first floor, and windows were smashed as high as the third floor. The explosion also damaged windows of nearby houses with shattered glass falling on cars parked in front of them.

Overnight to Thursday, another incident was reported in downtown Odessa. Several people were injured as the Right Sector group members clashed with the guards of a gambling venue, local TV reports said.

December 2014 and January-February 2015 saw a chain of explosions near buildings housing organizations that provide support to the participants of a military operation in Donbass. Law enforcement agencies have qualified all these incidents as acts of terror.

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